When starting on a new web project, a lot of things need to be taken into consideration. The one that usually gets developers hurt later in the project cycle is browser compatibility. To make matters worse, that browser compatibility issue often rears its ugly head in the worst of forms. Outdated browsers!
Honestly the web, primarily stored somewhere on Twitter now, is filled with outdated browser bashing, so there is no need to add more fuel to that fire. However, I do want to try and tame it by revealing what I view as a browser compatibility stopping point.
To me every project is different, and there really isn’t a generic point where you can just say that this user group doesn’t deserve a full experience. Its all based on user statistics. For every project one of the starting points in the UX information gathering process is defining and grouping the different user groups. In this, there is also a precedent to note of them by their browser of choice.
From there it shows what percentage your users actually use what browser, and the popularity of the older ones. From there you’re going to see where the real issue lies, IE8 and IE9. My golden rule of thumb is that faced between these two is if IE8 is 5% or less, stop at IE9 and write your browser specific code in a way where it can assist those viewing on IE8.
Of course dealing with clients and Account Service reps who just don’t get it makes explaining this impossible, but that’s an article for another Friday!